A 17-year-old Michigan high school student is facing a murder charge after police say she fatally stabbed a classmate Wednesday over a guy whom both had dated.
The deadly clash between two “straight-A students” took place in a Fitzgerald High School classroom in suburban Detroit, Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer said. A school resource officer immediately began life-saving procedures, but the 16-year-old victim was pronounced dead at a hospital about an hour later.
“This is truly a tragedy. ... This appears to be an altercation between two students and we’re investigating to determine why this occurred,” Dwyer said.
Fitzgerald Public Schools Superintendent Laurie Fournier identified the slain girl as Danyna Gibson (pictured) on the district’s website Wednesday evening. Fournier said a “vigil to remember and honor the life of Danyna” will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday on the high school’s football field.
The suspect has been identified as Tanaya Lewis, 17. She was charged with first-degree murder on Friday and faces life without parole if convicted, WDIV in Detroit reported. Michigan prosecutes 17-year-olds as adults in homicide cases.
Lewis is being held without bond.
Dwyer said the girls knew each other and had no history of trouble. He told The Associated Press the suspect was upset and disturbed when a male student broke up with her and started dating the victim, leading to her attacking her love rival. A steak knife was recovered by police.
Dwyer told reporters the school has no metal detectors.
A witness, Francesca Pascua, 17, told The Detroit News that the stabbing occurred in an economics class.
“I heard screaming, and I thought everyone was running from a bug or something,” said Pascua, who fled because, “I thought she was going to stab everybody.”
During Lewis’ arraignment on Friday, prosecutors said she was smiling and laughing as she chased Gibson, who they say was trying to run away from Lewis and her knife.
Gibson was on the school robotics team, student council, ran cross country and played in the marching band, Dwyer said.
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts wrote on Facebook that Lewis and Gibson “were honor society students and good friends.”
Dwyer said the school resource officer, who had been with the department for 10 years, “did everything he could to save that young girl.”
“He’s taking it very hard that he wasn’t able to save her life,” Dwyer said.
The Associated Press has contributed to this report.